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How to avoid a lightning strike


■ Know the risks. Lightning kills about 20 people each year and injures hundreds. More common than direct strikes are those from ground current—when electricit­y strikes a tree or other tall object and courses through the ground and up into your body. “The strike doesn’t have to be nearby—the current can travel as far as 100 yards.”

■ Take shelter. When possible, “move inside as soon as you hear thunder,” because lightning can strike miles from a storm. If you’re far from a building or vehicle, the shelter of a cliff or embankment can provide some protection. Stay away from bodies of water, which are excellent conductors. And “whatever you do,” don’t shelter under trees.

■ Crouch and cover. If you’re stranded in the open, spread out from others and assume “the lightning position”: crouched, heels touching, with hands over your ears. If you’re hit, the current will pass through you quickly. Source: PopularSci­

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